In the final moments of Tottenham Hotspur’s match against Manchester United last Sunday, Harry Kane suffered an ankle injury after sliding into a challenge against Manchester United center back Phil Jones. Kane limped off the pitch following the final whistle, and later in the day, his foot was seen in a boot.
While the diagnosis was unclear for several days, Tottenham announced today that Harry Kane suffered severe ligament damage in his ankle, and will likely be injured until early March. This means that Kane will definitely miss the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 at Wembley Stadium. Given the nature of ankle injuries, which have a tendency to persist longer than expected, Kane will also likely miss the second leg at the Westfalenstadion, which takes place on March 5th.
This is undoubtedly a huge blow for Tottenham and for Spurs fans. While Kane got off to a relatively slow start this season, he was playing very well prior to his injury, having scored goals in seven straight games. He’s tied with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mo Salah for the Premier League lead in goals, with 14. He also has a history of scoring against Borussia Dortmund, having found the back of the net in both clashes between the two clubs last fall.
As of right now, Tottenham don’t really have a good backup at center forward. Fernando Llorente is simply not a quality goal scorer at this point in his career, and Son Heung Min and Lucas Moura would be out of their natural positions playing at CF. Mauricio Pochettino might have Dele Alli play as a false-nine, a position in which he’s found success before, but it still won’t be the same as having Kane up front. It’s also possible that Spurs will finally open their wallets and spend some money on a backup striker, although given their history of Frugality, this seems unlikely.
Even with Kane out, Tottenham still have plenty of talent, and will be a challenge for Borussia Dortmund, but this undoubtedly makes Dortmund’s showdown with Spurs a bit easier. As a Tottenham fan myself, I take no pleasure in Kane’s injury, and hope they can keep their spot in the top-four secure, but I must acknowledge that it also drastically increases the odds of BVB moving on to the Quarterfinals.